Comment: Anne Beadell Highway

This is a great way to spend some remote time in a living desert region where you may not see anyone else for a few days.
We travelled west along this route during early July 2014 joining the track at Emu Junction after spending time at Maralinga Village. We were fortunate to experience the area at a time following some rains, so there were plenty of wildflowers to observe.
The road conditions most likely don’t vary substantially. Commenting on the track west of Emu, you can expect conditions to vary from sandy tracks to heavily corrugated surfaces. This continues with little change until after the West Australian border and west of Ilkurlka Roadhouse. At the time there was a grader crew working about 20-kilometres west of the Road house and conditions improved dramatically (in comparison).
Ilkurlka has reasonable supplies, and fuel was $3.00 per litre. Despite indicating it is closed on Sunday’s this isn’t necessarily the case – as the caretaker’s in residence said “where else would we be going”. But it might always pay to check.

Take your time to travel the route, and be sure to climb to the top of Bishop Riley’s Pulpit. It isn’t a hard climb for people of average fitness and agility and you will be rewarded with great views. In fact, it would be quite spectacular to watch it change colours with a setting sun, and it would be possible to camp nearby.
My experience was drive to the conditions, treat your vehicle well, and it will do the same in return – just be sure to stop regularly when in the corrugated areas. And exercise caution for the possibility of oncoming vehicles as much of the track winds its way across the land and vegetation comes to the track edges.
Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 07:47

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 07:47
Hi Baz

The Anne Beadell is always a great drive, with always ever changing scenery, located in Australia's largest desert system, the Great Victoria Desert.

Every trip will be different and the more that you do your homework, the more secrets will be revealed.

I have found that the secret to an enjoyable experience is to make very regular stops, low tyre pressures and to travel at a slow pace. Another great feature of the drive is the solitude, knowing that it will be rare to encounter other vehicles and you will have the desert to yourself.



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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 13:22

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 13:22
G'day Barry, got back yesterday from our epic 18 day odyssey. We did from Neale Junction east to Coober Pedy. Our experience was good with very little wild life seen. We saw 1 camel on the track into the plane wreck and 1 per day there on. I saw no dingos but the other couple we travelled with saw a number. Luck of the draw really. Lots of wild flowers and the desert peas were starting to put in an appearance. The care takers at Ilkurlka are fantastic and lovely people. I took 105L of fuel so paid for somebodies wages for the day.

As stated the track was of varying quality with the WA side allowing for reasonably quick travel times. From the border to Voakes Hill Corner wasn't too bad. From Emu onwards OMG the horror-gations began, thanks to all the by-pass tracks the journey was bearable.

We passed the jogger and his entourage who was running the track to raise money for a charity.

In my case and with my suspension set-up I found 20Psi front and 22Psi back was a reasonably comfortable ride and allowed to drive at a good comfortable pace.

When we arrived at Coober Pedy we were able to get a mechanic on the Sunday to put our cars on the hoist. I have a leak in the transfer case and a slight leak in the back fuel tank - nothing serious and didn't cause any distress.

The other vehicle also suffered from an oil leak in the transfer case and the bolts fell out of his winch assembly.

Managed to crack my windscreen on the Cable Haul Rd due to a driving into a stick that hit the very bottom corner of the screen rubber. Tape on the glass inside and out over the many cracks that emanated from the corner stopped there spread. The screen was replaced in Coober Pedy but that's another story.

All in all an enjoyable few days spent.



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